No graft evident in Padma project: ACC chief

Gen Harun interrogated

Mashiur Rahman, adviser for economic affairs to the prime minister, appears at Anti-Corruption Commission office at Segunbagicha in the capital around 3:00pm Sunday. Photo: Palash Khan 

Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Ghulam Rahman said they did not find till Sunday any evidence of corruption in Padma bridge project based on which they can file First Information Report (FIR).

Talking to the journalists, the ACC chief also said ACC’s ongoing enquiry into the Padma bridge project corruption allegation would not harm whether Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Mashiur Rahman will remain in office or not.

Mashiur on Thursday went to work at the Prime Minister’s Office after his month-long leave.

For reviving the cancelled loan agreement for the bridge, the World Bank had placed a condition that Mashiur must be on leave during the probe.

Earlier on the day ACC quizzed Mashiur Rahman in connection with corruption allegations in the Padma bridge.

After the quiz Mashiur said, “I took leave from Prime Minister and came back after it finished. If I have to go for leave again after understanding between government and World Bank , I will do it. You all know that returning to workplace after leave is a usual feature”.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission also interrogated Destiny Group President Lt Gen (retd) Harun-Ar-Rashid. He however denied talking to the media men about the quizzing.

Sources in the ACC said a four-member team started quizzing Mashiur around 3:00pm minutes after his arrival at the ACC Segunbagicha office.

Earlier October 29, the anti-graft body issued a notice asking Mashiur to appear at its office on November 6 for the interrogation. But it later re-fixed the date in response to a request by Mashiur.

In September, the adviser was sent on leave to fulfil part of a condition imposed by the World Bank for reviving its funding for the Padma bridge project.

The ACC has so far interrogated 29 people, including former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain, in relation to the graft allegations.

The WB cancelled its $1.2 billion credit for the project on June 29, on the grounds that it had proof of a corruption conspiracy involving senior Bangladeshi government officials and executives of a Canadian firm.

The global lender, however, decided to revive its loan on September 21 after the Bangladesh government agreed to its terms and conditions.

Meanwhile, a team led by Deputy Director Mojahar Ali Sarder interrogated the former army chief Harun in connection with two money laundering cases until 5:00pm since morning.

Earlier, Harun reached the ACC’s Segunbagicha office in the capital around 9:45am.

Harun was released on October 19, a day after the High Court granted him conditional bail for two months in the cases.

The anti-graft body filed the two cases with Kalabagan Police Station on July 31 against 22 top officials of the controversial group including Harun on charges of laundering Tk 3,285.26 crore.

Source: The daily Star

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